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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 6:02 am   #101
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Bodges

An additional factor was that having a striped earth, while obviously not confusable with any of the pre-existing colour schemes, would also be recognisable even by colour-blind people.

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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 7:24 am   #102
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Look what I found yesterday!!!. Note 3 phase supply to 5.5kW pump. Earth to pump was a via a 6mm˛ bond.

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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 7:35 am   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobdger View Post
Look what I found yesterday!!!. Note 3 phase supply to 5.5kW pump. Earth to pump was a via a 6mm˛ bond.

Bob.
Oh yes, I've seen that too. On a central heating thermostat. The G/Y was used as the switched live return to the boiler.
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 7:58 am   #104
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Default Re: Bodges

A workmate of mine was informed by his wife that the vacuum cleaner wasn't working. Apparently the mains cord had somehow got severed and she had tried to repair it but without success. On examination all six bare, and not so bare wires had been bundled together and taped over. Obviously the fuse had blown. But it was shocking to me (and workmate) that no attempt had been made to join individual wires!
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 8:12 am   #105
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Default Re: Bodges

Virtually the same thing happened to me. In the 1960s I was a copier engineer and was called in to the company’s own head office with the report that the copier was blowing the fuse. On arrival a male staff member proudly told me that the cable had been broken and he’d repaired it but the ‘machine’ was still faulty.
As you found Steve all 6 wires had been bound together with yards of sellotape wrapping the whole mess into a tight bundle.

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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 9:02 am   #106
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Default Re: Bodges

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncanlowe View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobdger View Post
Look what I found yesterday!!!. Note 3 phase supply to 5.5kW pump. Earth to pump was a via a 6mm˛ bond.

Bob.
Oh yes, I've seen that too. On a central heating thermostat. The G/Y was used as the switched live return to the boiler.
I believe this is acceptable IF the wire is labelled at each end with a wrapping of tape of the appropriate colour - e.g. brown in this instance.

The most common instance is using T&E for a light switch, where the blue wire (used for switched live) should have a collar of brown tape at each end.
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 9:58 am   #107
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Default Re: Bodges

Post Nos. 104 & 105
Yes- this strikes a chord- a product of a narrow field of life experience? A cable or flex is seen as a hose down which water (or electricity) flows. It doesn't matter if you tread on it, tie a knot in it, or repeatedly kink it in the same place- it's just a hose, after all. The kids then emulate their parents. These are often the same people who will only ever be able to change a wheel using a mobile 'phone- which is a shame.
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 10:15 am   #108
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Default Re: Bodges

To tie in with the main subject of this forum, somewhere I have one of those coin-operated timer things used for rental TV. It has (had?) a length of 3 core cable coming out, 'new' colours ;

Brown : live in from TV mains switch.
Blue : common neutral
Green/Yellow : live out to TV.

I can't remember if the Gn/Y wire was originally sleeved. But I think not, this colour code was given in a wiring diagram moulded into the back of the case.

Incidentally, the old 3-phase colours were red, yellow, blue with black for neutral. The new are brown, black, grey with blue for neutral. I once asked an experienced electician

"If I see a switchboard where the incoming wires are black and blue, how do know if it's 'blue phase' on the old colours or 'black phase' on the new?"

"You check it. As you would no matter what the colours are."
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 11:21 am   #109
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"If I see a switchboard where the incoming wires are black and blue, how do know if it's 'blue phase' on the old colours or 'black phase' on the new?"

"You check it. As you would no matter what the colours are."
Yes, that's the best advice, don't take anything for granted.

I have found where mating old and new harmonised colour wiring in a 2-way lighting circuit, I've wrapped brown tape around the red wire, grey tape around the blue wire and black tape around the yellow wire. This hopefully avoids confusion for the next person, but still best in all cases, to prove the correct routing of any wiring.

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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 11:54 am   #110
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When we had an extension built 3 years ago, I did the wiring myself, the builder's electrician advising on current practice, checking during installation and signing it off on completion. He gave me some brown sleeving for the cables to the light switches, but at the time both Screwfix and Toolstation were selling drums of 1.5mm twin brown + E for less than ordinary 1.5 T&E, so it wasn't needed. The twin brown used two slightly different hues of brown, so they were easily distinguishable. Presumably twin brown is seldom used because normally it is significantly more expensive, perhaps turnover was slow and they needed to shift stock? The electrician was surprised.

Some years ago I got a call from a relative who had a problem with the fluorescent lamp he had fitted in the kitchen of his newly-acquired house. When I checked, he had connected all the reds together, ditto the blacks. Going to the consumer unit to isolate the supply I noticed a length of fuse wire protruding from between two of the fuse carriers: it belonged to a fuse that the previous owner had rewired without trimming the fuse wire.

When he had first moved in, he had asked me to check the bare wires of some plastered-in T&E sticking out of the wall in one of the bedrooms. They were permanently live, wired directly to the lighting circuit, and had evidently supplied wall lights with integral switches that the previous owner had taken with him.

Last edited by emeritus; 3rd Sep 2020 at 12:17 pm. Reason: Typos
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 2:29 pm   #111
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When testing a property recently I came across a socket circuit with each leg of the ring taken to seperate B32 MCB's.
Even more worrying it looked to have been like it for several years going by the date on the last test certificate.(Not issued by us).
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 3:13 pm   #112
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The German wiring colours were the main reason the EU finished up with the rather counter-intuitive brown-blue-yellow/green standard for domestic wiring. Most engineers at the time thought that the British red-black-green standard was more intuitively obvious (including plenty in Germany), but applying it in countries that had previously followed the German standard would have been absolutely lethal.
The main reason for the change to brown/blue/yellow-green is the fairly common red/green colour blindness. Confusing red and green in the old UK system is not a good thing at all.

One of my work colleagues in my first job was colour blind. If not entirely in shades of grey, it was certainly confused.

He stocked up the resistor drawers on one occasion. The result was almost random, and took some while to sort out!

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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 3:35 pm   #113
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Quote:
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"If I see a switchboard where the incoming wires are black and blue, how do know if it's 'blue phase' on the old colours or 'black phase' on the new?"
I was working on a large construction site where the electricians were swapping the wiring over for the dozens of Portacabins from generators to mains, to save time they missed the check, I suspected something wasn't right when the power came on and the lighting was much brighter, followed by many load bangs as the switch-mode power supplies let go in the computers, copiers and AV training equipment, very little survived and the electricians received are very large bill for the damage.
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 6:45 pm   #114
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I suspected something wasn't right when the power came on and the lighting was much brighter, followed by many load bangs as the switch-mode power supplies let go...
Years ago I was given a van load of brand new Nokia 17" PC CRT monitors (in the days when such things were valued) which had fallen victim to a wiring error at a local software company. Investigating, it turned out that the class X suppression capacitors had borne the brunt of the overvoltage, and had blown the fuses before anything else got damaged. I replaced the suppression capacitors, the fuses, and the main reservoir electrolytic just to be on the safe side. After soak testing they all (apart from two I kept for my own use) went to new homes for a very reasonable fee.

My friend who worked at the company said it was quite spectacular when a whole room full of PCs and monitors went off with a bang!

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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 7:26 pm   #115
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Default Re: Bodges

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Oh yes, I've seen that too. On a central heating thermostat. The G/Y was used as the switched live return to the boiler.
It won't have been the only one to have that bodge.

A bi-metallic thermostat will work, after a fashion, with just a live and a switch-wire, but it will exhibit a lot of hysteresis.

A better model will have a neutral terminal. A heater (literally just a resistor) that is in thermal contact with the bi-metal strip, is wired between the switch-wire terminal and neutral. This causes the stat to reach its set-point and open the contacts earlier than it would have done without the heater.

As the existing wiring is likely to be twin & earth, guess which conductor gets "borrowed" for the third wire?

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(Don't Ask Me How I Know This).
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 7:39 pm   #116
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Default Re: Bodges

Not a bodge per se, but crap design.

Sony 21" colour monitors, badged HP. There were rather a lot of them in our plant. Some neds threw something metallic over 11kV feeders not so far away. Mains voltage went down, came back in fits and starts. Auto voltage selector in lots of monitors decided "Oooh, I seem to be in the USA" so they engaged and locked in voltage doubler mode. Talk about firecracker sound effects!

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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 7:46 pm   #117
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Default Re: Bodges

Every electrician knows this bodge "The borrowed neutral".

Said electrician renews the consumer unit and for the first time the house has RCDs, but one of them trips as soon as the landing light is switched on.

What has happened is the electrician who wired the house decades earlier, took the live from the downstairs lighting circuit and the neutral return to the upstairs circuit. It's so common it probably wasn't even regarded as a bodge.
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 8:21 pm   #118
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I've never been able to use the earth wire as a live return [post 115*] even though it would be so convenient sometimes. Three core and earth was relatively expensive at one time [as I recall] but I just added a single core. I called it drop wire but that's more telephone related I think. I've seen that red sheathing might be used to ID the earth as potentially live [sometimes] but it always seemed to be asking for trouble to me [conscience?] I got a reel recently from a chain supplier. The guy behind the counter insisted they didn't do it even though he had no idea what I was talking about-he was wrong and it was in the catalogue under some title! It's brown to distinguish it from the other three colours.

Dave W

Just realised their could be one or two new definitions of "con-science" given the suspicion of science itself these days!

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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 9:15 pm   #119
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In the North - neds? Down South - dids?
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 9:23 pm   #120
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Default Re: Bodges

Sorry, but what's a 'ned'?
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